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A story pitch goes horribly wrong

Thursday, Jul 12, 2018

* Oh, man, was this ever a big mistake by Lori Lightfoot’s comms director. From Think Progress

It was a Tuesday in late June when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned the world upside down. The New York machine shuddered to an unexpected halt. A 28-year-old socialist had taken on the King of Queens in the state’s 14th congressional district and won.

Some 800 miles west, in Chicago, mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot was hoping to replicate that victory. A little more than seven months out from the city’s election, Lightfoot and her campaign have tried to paint her as the next insurgent progressive to knock out a more moderate, white, establishment incumbent in the wake of Ocasio-Cortez’s victory.

Lightfoot, however, is more hesitant to take on the same ultra-progressive stances Ocasio-Cortez made central to her campaign. And, at least at this juncture, Lightfoot hasn’t yet managed to inspire the same activist energy that propelled Ocasio-Cortez to victory — energy crucial to Lightfoot’s bid against incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the field of nine other challengers.

Two days after Ocasio-Cortez’s primary win, Lightfoot’s communications director reached out to me over email. She noted that I had written about Ocasio-Cortez, New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, and several other women candidates in the past, pitching Lightfoot as the next progressive sensation.

What follows is an evisceration of Lightfoot on just about every possible left-wing purity test level. Not pretty.

For you kids out there, don’t do this.

* Related…

* Emanuel-allied group hires away potential rival’s fund-raiser: Going to work for Progress Chicago, a group backed by Emanuel confidant Michael Sacks and other mayoral associates, is Katelynd Duncan, a fast-rising fund-raiser whose clients have included Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Illinois Democratic Party Acting Executive Director Christian Mitchell, Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), and—until recently— [Bridget] Gainer, who insiders say will announce against Emanuel within the next two weeks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments »
  1. - Perrid - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    LOL, talk about an “open mouth, insert foot” moment.


  2. - Mr. Smith - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    Ouch. Facepalm.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and sat that isn’t how they thought that was gonna go…


  3. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    Look, I’m a Rahm fan, but I also know Lori Lightfoot. For those who, like Addy Baird, don’t think Lightfoot is progressive enough for their taste: she’s not and never will be.

    But if everyone who shares the same purity tests as Think Progress outlines votes accordingly, Troy LaRiviere will finish fourth instead of fifth.

    Like I said, I’m with Rahm (warts and all), so by all means, let’s have Troy LaRiviere drag Lori Lightfoot down with him. Lol.


  4. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    Having read the article, I find the progressive agenda as frightening as the always Trump element in the Republican Party.


  5. - SameolG - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    The far right is nuts the far left is nuts.


  6. - Anonchalant - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    Having seen Lori speak, I was excited for her campaign. I am not impressed in any way, shape, or form to this point. Her messaging is awful. How did she not know these questions were coming?


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    “What follows is an evisceration of Lightfoot on just about every possible left-wing purity test level.”

    I’m tired of purity tests. I thought her answers were reasonable.


  8. - a drop in - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    Anon 3:16 was me,sorry.


  9. - Texas Red - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    The rejection of Lightfoot by a far left progressive journal may actually help her.


  10. - Chris Widger - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    I thought it was a nice piece. Calling for no litmus tests, as someone in the piece does, is absurd. If you oppose legal abortion, you are an enemy of women. If you oppose taxing retirement income, you are an enemy of Illinois. Litmus tests serve a purpose.


  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    Think Progress is Venezuelan to Lightfoot’s Brazilian.


  12. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    Abolish ICE? Medicare for all? Those are federal issues. This is the mayor’s race.


  13. - The Most Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    It’s ok, Lori. Dan Biss was a fauxgressive too. Maybe get some advice from him on how to do a better job faking it. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez worked hard for her win and stuck to her vision, only to have poorly organized moderates try to latch on to her success with a bunch of empty words. Glad Think Progress drew a warranted contrast.


  14. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    === Lightfoot also does not support a single-payer health care system … and urged caution about the potential of Medicare expansion, saying Medicare is “not an incredibly well-run system.” ===

    That’s a twofer.

    First, Single payer is a dealbreaker for progressives. The IVI-IPO and DFA folks are not gonna touch her with a 10-foot pole.

    Secondly, if she somehow makes it to the run-off, “Lightfoot attacks Medicare” is gonna be a brutal ad.

    Poll that, someone.


  15. - Soapbox Derby - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    Abolition of ICE and single-payer healthcare aren’t exactly top issues in a mayoral race.

    However, Lightfoot’s positions actually make me like her more.


  16. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    I thought Bridget Gainer was not running?


  17. - Soapbox Derby - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    Also, Progressive are taking way too much credit for Cortez’s win.

    She beat an old white guy in a predominately minority-majority district, who hadn’t had a primary race in two decades.


  18. - Responsa - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    I almost feel sorry for Lori. Politics in this day and age can be brutal. A far cry from running for mayor of Chicago, Ocasio-Cortez won in a changing district with an astonishingly low vote count (approx. 28,000 total votes were cast in that primary). She’s a new star now but she’ll no doubt run into a buzz saw at some point, too.


  19. - Anonchalant - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    Who is Lightfoot’s Communications Director?


  20. - The Most Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    @Soapbox Derby

    So, what you’re saying is Alexandria was the only one with the organization and the courage to give him his first primary race in two decades. You don’t think she should get credit for that? She won with a highly progressive platform. It wasn’t an unforced error on Crowley’s end; it was a highly organized takedown on Cortez’s end that led to her victory. Don’t dismiss her or her platform.


  21. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 4:06 pm:

    @TexasRed - Agreed, although it’s disappointing she is trying to compare herself to Ocasio-Cortez (might as well turn off the lights in Chicago if someone like her was ever elected mayor).


  22. - Soapbox Derby - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 4:27 pm:

    @The Most Anonymous

    I’ll give Ortez credit for taking on a long time member of the white Democratic establishment, however, with low turnout identity politics probably helped her more than her progressive platform.


  23. - Civilized and /smart - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 4:40 pm:

    Lightfoot = Rahm Shill


  24. - Roman - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 4:40 pm:

    == I thought Bridget Gainer was not running? ==

    It’s beginning to verge on a Hamlet routine: to run, or not to run.

    Rahm sure seems concerned about her potential candidacy given the oppo that’s been leaked on her county board attendance and parking tickets.


  25. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 7:28 pm:

    Saying that Medicare is mismanaged is pretty tone deaf on Lightfoot’s part. It’s not the communications director’s fault if the candidate still thinks she is in a Mayer Brown partner’s meeting.


  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 10:33 pm:

    Lightfoot seems to be making the same mistake Biss did by claiming her progressive bonafides are supported by her demographics not her policies. Being middle class, African American or LGBTQ doesn’t automatically allow you to claim the progressive mantle.


  27. - Paddyrollingstone - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 9:16 am:

    The victory by Ms Ocasio-Cortez while noteable and a tremendous win for her is hardly the model for Chicago’s mayoral race. It was a low turnout (27,000 or so total votes) affair when it was the biggest race on the ballot for that district. It should send up alarm bells for D incumbents but it’s repetition is fairly unlikely as demographics, low turn out and Trump were the reasons for this surprise. Or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.


  28. - Shytown - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 9:43 am:

    == It’s not the communications director’s fault if the candidate still thinks she is in a Mayer Brown partner’s meeting. ==

    It’s the communications director’s fault for not briefing their candidate in advance for questions like this so they avoid putting their foot in their mouth


  29. - DaleyMail - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    I also believe Lightfoot is a shill for Rahm, along with Sales Griffin and Dorothy. Some say McCarthy is too, though I don’t know if I believe it.


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